A lot of people overlook this race because they really don’t know what the County Attorney’s role is. Basically, the District Attorney in Harris County handles all of the criminal matters. The County Attorney handles all of the civil matters, including legal advice, eminent domain cases, suits against the county, employment suits, corruption charges, etc.
Republicans have an opportunity this year to put someone in that office that isn’t afraid to handle corruption cases. The current occupant of the office, Vince Ryan, has been absolutely terrible in that aspect of the job and I would say that regardless of his party affiliation. You need look no further than Mr. Ryan’s “report” on three corrupt constables, Victor Trevino, Mae Walker, and Jack Abercia – a whitewash if ever there was one. Vince Ryan has to go, no doubt about it.
After reviewing both of the candidates on the Republican Primary ballot and listening to them at two different forums, I think that the right choice to replace him is Robert Talton.
Mr. Talton has been around Harris County politics a long time and served as a State Rep. for eight terms. Prior to that, he had stints as an Assistant City Attorney, a City Attorney, and a Municipal Judge. All of that in addition to a private legal practice and time patrolling the streets as a Pasadena Police officer. Okay, yeah, the last few years he’s worked with Jared Woodfill’s firm – hey, I didn’t say he was perfect!
The biggest difference that I find between Mr. Talton and his opponent is that I know he will not be afraid to remove a County Commissioner or anyone else from office. I’m not sure that his opponent would do that because she is backed by Commissioner Steve Radack and in my opinion, the last thing Commissioner Radack wants in that office is someone as fearless as Robert Talton. As it stands now, County Judge Ed Emmett has Commissioner Jack Cagle in his corner to root out corruption. Those of us in Precinct 2 think that Commissioner Jack Morman will join Emmett eventually, pulling away from Radack’s influence. If and when that happens, the county will need someone like Robert Talton to support those three.
At a forum last week at the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club, the two candidates were asked if they would remove an elected official from office, unlike Vince Ryan. Mr. Talton’s opponent hesitated and finally said that she would have to review the records and then make a determination. Mr. Talton simply said, “Of course.”
And of course he would. Anyone that would stand at the back microphone of the Texas House and go toe to toe with the Speaker of the House Tom Craddick as Robert Talton did during the 2007 Legislative session has left fear behind and is about doing the right thing.
I’m voting for Robert Talton for Harris County County Attorney. I hope you check him out because if you do, I think you’ll agree with me.